How to Use iPhone Low Power Mode for Longer Battery Life

iPhone low power mode
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Squeezing the longest use out of your iPhone battery is crucial. There are dozens of tips and tricks to help you, but if your battery is very low right now or you won't be able to charge for a while, here's one simple tip to conserve battery life: turn on Low Power Mode.

Low Power Mode is a feature of iOS 9 and up that disables some features of the iPhone in order to make your battery last longer.

How Much Extra Time Does Low Power Mode Get You?

The amount of extra battery life Low Power Mode delivers is dependent on how you use your iPhone, so there's no single prediction.

According to Apple, though, the average person can expect to up to get an extra 3 hours of battery life.

How to Turn On iPhone Low Power Mode

Sound like something you want to try? To turn Low Power Mode on:

  1. Tap the Settings app to open it.
  2. Tap Battery.
  3. Move the Low Power Mode slider to On/green.

To turn it off, just repeat these steps and move the slider of Off/white.

This isn't the only way to enable Low Power Mode, though. The iPhone gives you other options:

  • Siri—Just tell Siri "turn on Low Power Mode" (or a variation of that phrase) and she'll take care of it for you.
  • Pop-up Window—When your iPhone's battery life drops to 20%, and then again at 10%, the iOS displays a pop-up warning. In that warning is a button that can turn on Low Power Mode. Tap it to start saving battery.
  • Control Center—In iOS 11 and up, you can add Low Power Mode to Control Center. Check out the section at the end of the article for more on this.

    What Does Low Power Mode Turn Off?

    Making your battery last longer sounds great, but you have to understand the trade-offs to know when it's the right choice. When Low Power Mode is enabled, here's how the iPhone changes:

    • Processing power is reduced—The speed of the iPhone's processor influences how much battery it uses. Low Power Mode reduces the performance of the processor and the graphics chip to conserve battery. This means your phone will be a little slower and might not perform as well in games and other graphics-intensive tasks.
    • Background App Refresh is disabled—Your iPhone learns how you use apps and automatically updates them around the times you use them to ensure that the latest data is always waiting for you. It's a cool feature, but it also requires battery life. Low Power Mode temporarily suspends this feature.
    • Email fetch is turned off—The iPhone can be set to periodically grab new email from your accounts. Low Power Mode turns this feature off and forces you to manually check for new messages (open Mail and swipe down from the top on any inbox to refresh). 
    • Automatic downloads are disabled—You can set your iPhone to automatically download app updates or purchases made on other devices. This keeps your content in sync, but it also requires power. Low Power Mode prevents automatic downloads while it's on.
    • Visual effects and animations are suspended—The iOS is packed full of all sorts of cool visual effects and animations. They make using the iPhone more fun, but they also use battery. By turning them off, Low Power Mode saves power.
    • Screen brightness is turned down—The brighter your phone's screen, the more battery you use. Low Power Mode reduces your screen brightness to save energy.

    Can You Use Low Power Mode All the Time?

    Given that Low Power Mode can give your iPhone up to 3 hours of extra battery life, and the features it turns off aren't completely essential to using the phone, you may wonder if it makes sense to use all the time.

    Writer Matt Birchler tested that scenario and found that Low Power Mode can reduce battery use by 33%-47% in some cases. That's a huge savings.

    So, if you don't use the features listed above very much, or are willing to give them up for more juice in your battery, you could use Low Power Mode all the time.

    When Low Power Mode Is Automatically Disabled

    Even if you've turned on Low Power Mode, it's automatically turned off when the charge in your battery exceeds 80%.

    Adding a Low Power Mode Shortcut to iOS 11 Control Center

    In iOS 11 and up, you can customize the options that are available in Control Center.

    One of the changes you can make is to add Low Power Mode. If you do this, turning the mode on is as simple as opening Control Center and tapping a button. Here's how to do that:

    1. Tap Settings.
    2. Tap Control Center.
    3. Tap Customize Controls.
    4. Tap the green + icon next to Low Power Mode. It will move into the Include group at the top.
    5. Open Control Center and the battery icon at the bottom of the screen toggles Low Power Mode on and off.